Amy Finnerty (vice president of music and talent, MTV): Everybody wanted to see Nirvana do an Unplugged. Everybody was just really excited when they agreed to do it.
Mark Kates (A&R, Geffen Records): Kurt wanted to prove to himself that he could do this in an artistically successful way. His creative mind at that time was going more in a quieter direction.
Scott Litt (producer, MTV Unplugged in New York): The only thing I thought might be tricky was trying to play Nevermind songs in that acoustic vein. During that time, all the rage was MTV’s Unplugged show. It was super popular. And I had experience with it, having done one with R.E.M.
Dave Grohl (drums): We’d seen the other Unpluggeds and didn’t like many of them, because most bands would treat them like rock shows—play their hits like it was Madison Square Garden, except with acoustic guitars.
Earnie Bailey (guitar tech): It became a running joke. So when they were invited to do the show, we had some big questions to figure out. We didn’t quite know how many songs they had that would work and how well they would translate to the acoustic setting.
Pearl Jam, Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Eric Clapton, Queensryche, Annie Lennox, and many others performed on MTV Unplugged in the first few years of the program before Nirvana.